Because people always ask: yes, my youngest son posed for this picture. It wasn’t too hard to get him out back for the photo-op, and once he got started digging in the dirt, he didn’t want to stop. He just kept digging, drawn in by the seemingly natural instinct we all have to be out in nature, a part of nature, getting our hands a little dirty! I never had a cool wheel loader Tonka truck like the one he has (he’s got an excavator one too), but I did have some smaller Hot Wheels and Micro-machines versions, and I played with them in the dirt and mud just the same. But I was a kid then, and he is a kid now–playing with toys. The wheel loaders you and I use today though are anything but toys. And yet, every time we go out on to construction sites to offer training or get photos for our OSHA Aligned training kits or our kits for Canada alignment, we see operators treating their loaders like toys: zipping around at high speeds; ramming the buckets into soil or rock piles; backing up, as it seems, without a care in the world. With that in mind, we urge every operator to slow down, be a little more aware of those around you, and treat your loader and your job with a little more respect than my son has for his toy.